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Old 30-10-2012, 17:32   #16
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Re: How many bilge pumps ?

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Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
There's good cause to consider preparation for stopping the inflow of water as well as pumping it out. Wood plugs, collision mats, creative use of uphostered foam, etc. In an emergency both sides of the flow require some good problem solving techniques.
Here's some ideas



They also did dismasting, capsize, and fires.

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Old 30-10-2012, 19:22   #17
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Re: How many bilge pumps ?

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post

....With the new engine it will be impossible to start or operate without electricity (that's an improvement?). ...

Greg
I agree about not being an improvement, but "impossible" is a big word.

My post twenty minutes before yours mentioned a couple of ways of rope-starting a diesel which can certainly be made to work up to 40 or 50 hp, but possibly more. (If you don't have decompressors, it's more of a challenge, but not strictly impossible)

If you have a flat but not dead battery on a long passage, you have the luxury of be able to wait for ideal conditions for a wind or boatspeed assisted opportunity.
In the latter case (eg setting up a drogue, cutting a retention lanyard, then retrieving by heaving to) you can make things easier for a shaft drive - depending on gearbox type - by putting the engine in gear, particularly if the propellor is large and coarse-pitched, eg towards the motorsailor end.
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Old 30-10-2012, 20:13   #18
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

Perhaps not impossible, but it wouldn't happen quickly in an emergency.

I had to hand start my old 18hp on several occasions. It was rigged with a ratcheting crank and a decompression system which automatically switched off. And starter "cigarettes" which ignited the fuel instead of using glow plugs. Still, it was quite an effort. Occasionally I would get a good chuckle out of letting others try to hand start it - it was not so easily done.

You suggest rope starting my 38hp, without decompressors or igniters. I will happily watch you demonstrate such a feat, and I might even offer a wager on it. That assumes that the engine will run without electricity, which is not at all clear. The fuel shut-off is electrical, unlike the mechanical arrangement on the old engine. I don't know if power is needed to keep the engine running, requiring some work-around on the engine to allow fuel flow, or if power is required to shut it off, which would also require a workaround for safety.

Perhaps not impossible, but bordering on absurd...

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Old 30-10-2012, 20:17   #19
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

I guess I need to go back to the reason for this thread: functioning bilge pumps. Trying to get a modern diesel started without electricity in an emergency so that the bilge pumps can run (presumably because of flooding) is a fundamentally flawed approach, and really not one worthy of consideration.

Greg
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Old 31-10-2012, 01:27   #20
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You say new delivered sailboat. The manufacturer little doubt installed what is needed to keep your new boat safe and dry in most situations you will

Find yourself in. You need an electric pump for times when conditions are favorable, and a manual pump for times when all else fails.
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Old 31-10-2012, 02:14   #21
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

To get back to the OP's original question:

Most boats as delivered are "light in the bilge pump department", as you put it.

Mine had one little electric pump in the main bilge, and a manual (cranked from the cockpit) pump with selectable intake -- engine bilge or main bilge. Totally inadequate, in my opinion.

I added a Whale Supersub 1500 in the engine bilge, and put in a new pipe and through-hull out the transom, plus a big Rule 3500 in the main bilge, with new large pipe and through-hull. The big Rule is mounted considerably higher than the regular main bilge pump. The big Rule has an Ultra Junior float switch.

So now I have three electric pumps plus one manual pump. That's probably enough regular DC electric bilge pumps -- remember that every one of these must have its own through hull and piping and so you would start to get to a ridiculous number of extra holes in the boat if you go much beyond this.

I think the biggest danger with regular bilge pumps is that they will get clogged. If you spring some kind of leak and water in the bilge goes up beyond its usual level, you are going to get a lot of crap floating in the bilge water, even if you think you keep your bilge pretty clean. In my experience, this will quickly clog the strainers on regular bilge pumps. My main bilge is very deep, and I cannot reach the strainers unless I dive the bilge with someone holding my ankles. I worry about this and think about some kind of serious crash pump/ trash pump which will pass solids and not clog, for this kind of case. We are discussing it in another thread.

As others have said, I would never, ever use the engine cooling system as a bilge pump. Seems insane to me -- your engine will overheat when you get the inevitable clog, and then you are progressing fast down the cascade of failures which can sink your boat.

An engine-driven mechanical pump might be ok for some people. For me, it won't work because I have two alternators and no space on my engine. Besides that, what happens if you lose main engine power as the Bounty did? I would rather rely on my diesel generator, which is mounted higher than my engine. If I could get a mechanical pump on that, then this would be really cool, but I don't think it is practical within the tight-fitting sound enclosure. So probably I'm going to go with an AC powered electric submersible trash pump.

An entirely autonomous gasoline-powered trash pump might be a good solution, but presents lots of practical problems -- where to store it? How to be sure it will start if you never use it? How to be sure you have gasoline for it?

Anyway, we've got another thread going about those particular problems.

One more comment: through-hulls are mostly all the same size -- 1", 1.5", and 2", no matter what the size of the boat. A broken-off 1" through-hull will sink a smaller boat much faster than it will a bigger boat. So arguably, the bilge pump question is more and more scary, the smaller your boat is.

And one last comment: Bully to those designers who think about this question. I mean the Dashews, who designed the Sundeer boats with all the through-hulls outside of the main cabin space behind water-tight bulkheads, and Amel, who do something similar (plus many watertight compartments). I wish all of our boats were like that.
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Old 31-10-2012, 02:29   #22
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

Carina PDX

Did you read the rest of the post you responded to?
Or my "previous post", as invited?
If you did, I'm sorry if the problem is that I didn't spell things out more clearly; I thought the technique was fairly widely understood.

I wasn't planning on hauling the 'rope' by hand. The plan was to let the boat do the work.

Leading the rope to a midboom position via a snatchblock, and then gybing the full main in a breeze generally does the trick.
The only people I know who say it doesn't work, haven't tried it.
Even in real life (as opposed to online) there is no shortage of such people.

My suggestion wasn't aimed at them, so I'm not too bothered.

The trick is not to get rope burns while tailing, and keep well away from the capstan drum. Ideal is to wear a thick leather mitt or welding glove.

If the donkey generally starts quickly the tail will not need to be very long: just as many turns of the crankshaft as you expect it to take, plus a couple.

A light nylon line set up to pull tight well before the boom reaches the aft lowers is also a desirable addition.

Among believers and converts, this has got many a passagemaker back into the black on their electric bank deposits when they find the batteries have all been run flat.

Absurd? I prefer to reserve that word for things which are perverse and avoidable, say, boats which sink because they rely on electricity to get the water out.
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Old 31-10-2012, 04:08   #23
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

[QUOTE=Andrew Troup;1072733]Carina PDX

Absurd? I prefer to reserve that word for things which are perverse and avoidable, say, boats which sink because they rely on electricity to get the water out.[/QUOTE]

Agreed but there plenty around. Indeed the majority of vessels.

This is a real issue, the reason the OP raised it.
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Old 31-10-2012, 04:10   #24
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

My power boat was originally equipped with 2 electric pumps
There are no individual watertight bulkheads


In the forward section (the highest pump) there is a rule 1500
The mid engine room has the original Jabsco diaphragm bilge pump
I added a Whale Gulper pump (it's the lowest) to scavenge the lowest part of the bilge


I have safety items to deal with water intrusion
Gorilla tape,duct tape,self annealing tape,plugs for seacocks,the oil absorbent pads from my spill kit will slow down larger leaks, and in the lazarette I have a tarp that I could use to slip under the hull to block off a large leak
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:37   #25
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

How about compressed air for pumping out? Or large rubber bladders, kind of an internal PFD for the boat. Obviously not to be deployed while anyone is in that compartment....
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:59   #26
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We sail a 32 foot cruising boat. Our approach has been to set her up as simply as possible....

Primary pump is a gallon a stroke Edson manual pump. It is caste bronze with a three foot solid stainless handle and will move serious amounts of water. This pump is through bolted to the cabin sole just under the companion way step. It is plumbed with two inch hoses and exits out the transom through a diesel exhaust type fitting. Through in a little adrenalin and this pump will move lots of water.

Secondary pump is a bulkhead mounted manual pump. This is a diaphram pump mounted in the cockpit. It is effective and handy to anyone sitting and steering in the cockpit.

Plan is to install an electric bilge pump as well...........will probably operate that with a switch and not use a float switch.

We have eliminated seven through hull fittings. So the only thru hull fittings we have are for salt water for the galley, a drain for the galley sink, and two drains for the cockpit. The system is rugged and dirt simple. It has eliminated lots of maintenance, head aches, and "what ifs".
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:11   #27
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

It's important to realise that bilge pumps struggle to keep up with even a small hole in the hull. However I think they are cheap insurance and will might buy you some time to fix the problem.
With only my wife and I sailing most of the time I think the electric pumps are important. If we are flooding we are both going to be working to identify and fix problem, leaving no one to "man the pumps".


On my boat I have 3x rule 3500 pumps a large double diaphragm manual pump. A spare Rule 3500 on a wandering lead. Lots of buckets as last resort. We also have a single emergancy battery mounted well above the waterline.

An alternative that is worth considering is high volume petrol driven pump. These are sometimes used to great effect by the coastguard.
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:32   #28
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

[QUOTE=micah719;1072817]How about compressed air for pumping out?

A boat is not sealed like a submarine. It will be tough getting a boat that well sealed.

Or large rubber bladders, kind of an internal PFD for the boat. Obviously not to be deployed while anyone is in that compartment....

Google Yachtsavers. A saw a TV show about innovations where this was included. The boat didn't come back up. A diver sent down said the deck had torn part way off. I guess the bags ripped on the sharp edges.
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:45   #29
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

I have three. In addition to the Rule 2000 working pump in the bottom of the bilge, there's a manual Whale Gusher next to it, and an alarmed Rule 3700 mounted a few inches higher.
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Old 31-10-2012, 09:20   #30
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Re: How Many Bilge Pumps ?

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The manufacturer little doubt installed what is needed to keep your new boat safe and dry in most situations you will find yourself in.
I wouldn't bet on that. I've seen things installed by manufacturers that made the boat LESS safe than if they had just done nothing at all! And, of course, the manufacturer cannot really know what situations any particular owner might take the boat into.

Much better to assess your own needs and wants, rather than to assume that whatever the manufacturer provided will be adequate.
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